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The house wins Miclot Competition

Jan Garrison

Real estate concept takes top honors


May 18, 2022

The slogan for the proposed National Property Consolidation Network is “The House always Wins.”

The investor-owned home mortgage start-up designed to replace banks won Sean Coxhead ’24 (Palmetto Bay, Florida) the ninth annual Miclot Family Business Plan Competition on Sunday afternoon. The top prize is $5,000, which is provided by an endowment provided by Andy and Sharlene Miclot. The competition is part of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur.

The competition is open to all Culver Academies students. Fifteen teams or individuals submitted plans this year and the top five were selected to present before the judges. It is an opportunity to show teamwork, collaboration, and field research. Competitors are required to seek the guidance of a mentor entrepreneur.

Second place and $1,000 went to Societas, an online charitable concept designed to match non-profit organizations with potential donors and volunteers willing to work on their behalf. Liam Shi ’22 (West Lafayette, Indiana), Marc Palicki ’22 (Glen Ellyn, Illinois), and Aydin Turgut ’22 (South Bend, Indiana).

Third place and $500 went to ZenTap, a luxury shower unit, that allows each person to program their personal preferences in a mobile phone application. Designed by juniors Lena Spiller (Louisville, Kentucky) and Monique Tamon (Novi, Michigan) it also contains water-saving features.

Coxhead’s plan is designed to allow real estate investors to provide relief for people carrying a home mortgage. Investors would purchase existing mortgages from banks and work with homeowners on debt reduction. NPCN would also sell homes at reduced rates.

He said the homeowners win by reducing their debt and retain their equity. Investors are protected through a system like buying small portions of stock. That cushions their level of risk, he explained, but it still allows them to participate in a market that is projected to grow at least 4% every year. Some real estates has grown by as much as 344% over the past five years, he said.

And NPCN profits by charging listing and transaction fees. The business also will offer investor relations management tools, corporate governance tools, regulatory compliance tools, and other forms of investment aid. There will also be monthly fees for NPCN affiliates.

Societas is designed to bring together charitable organizations, donors, and people looking to actively help raise funds and awareness about different causes. It is built on the concept of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised over $17 million for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), team members said.

Judges Hayes Barnes '14 (left) and Nick Chaney with the Miclot competitors.

It is also based on a push-up challenge run by students to raise funds for the Culver Day of Strength campaign while everyone was home in 2020. A donor offered to pay a penny for every push-up students did during the 24-hour period. The students tracked and recorded their push-ups. By the time it was over, $7,500 was raised.

The concept is to build a sense of community around a cause, especially bringing in younger participants (12-18 years-old) who can meet challenges but don’t have money to donate. Donors would put up the funds to back the challenges with the non-profits benefiting from the results. The time of each challenge would be limited. Social media channels would be used to get the word out about each challenge and competitions could be developed to provide an additional incentive for the participants.

ZenTap is designed to provide a luxury experience in the shower while also conserving water. Spiller and Tamon said the unit would pre-heat the water prior to starting the shower, have a motion sensor that switches to a mist if the person leaves, and sets a programmed pressure level for each individual. It will also have speakers for music. The unit will require a plumber to install, they said, so it is intended new construction or major renovations.

Also presenting were Kyle Kudrna ’22 (Barlett, Illinois) with BarBox, a subscription box for health and fitness enthusiasts with an eye toward lower income individuals, and Peter Feng ’24 (Beijing) with Motorhead, a video auto racing game designed to teach financial literacy to the players.

Serving as judges were Hayes Barnes ’14 and Nick Chaney.

Barnes won the competition in 2013 with Adam Stathakis ’13 with C4, a website for ambitious people to share goals and keep track of progress that they make. He is the manager of sale strategy for Medpage Today. He also founded Spotlight, the first and only identity-based university ratings service. He also started the podcast “Why, Indy?”, programmed to elevate the stories of extraordinary entrepreneurs, artists, and community leaders in Indianapolis. He previously served as the senior market research associate at Eli Lilly.

Chaney is the executive vice president at U.S. Granules Corporation in Plymouth, Indiana. U.S. Granules engages in the processing of industrially generated laminated aluminum foil scrap and the subsequent manufacturing of secondary aluminum granules. He is president of Junior Achievement, serving Marshall County, and is involved in local youth athletics through coaching, fundraising, and marketing.

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